Orwell Knew It! 3 Literary Reactions to the NSA Surveillance Controversy

When Edward Snowden leaked information about National Security Association surveillance to the Guardian, Redditors called for a protest, lawmakers expressed their shock, and Americans everywhere rushed to... buy a classic novel?

  • The scandal has prompted a surge in popularity for George Orwell's 1984, landing it at #74 on the Amazon Bestseller list. Sales of Orwell's classic have risen an astonishing 5,771 percent as of this morning according to LA Times. Apparently readers can relate to the haunting loss of privacy (and misplaced their copy from eleventh grade English.)
  • Of course, not everyone agrees that 1984 is coming to pass just a few years behind schedule. At The Atlantic, Legal scholar Daniel J. Solove claims that people are looking to the wrong literary masterpiece to help provide clarity on recent events. It's not Orwell, people. Kafka is our man.
  • On a more casual note, @Darth apparently thinks Dr. Seuss is the best one to really explain what the surveillance looks like in the daily life of Americans. He asked Twitter followers to submit titles for children's books using the hashtag #NSAKidsBooks. New covers were created, and they are hilarious. Check them out at the Guardian. Our favorites were Charlotte’s Webcam and The Princess and the Pea-Sized Listening Device She Found Under the Mattress.

We're reminded fondly of the banking industry bailouts of 2008, which also spiked sales of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Nostalgia is a hell of a thing.

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